So, what do you think? We got rid of the tacky pink 80's tile that I've hated since before we bought this house! Surprisingly enough, with the right tools, a little trial-and-error, and the gumption to get rid of the awful tile..you can do it too! Now, I'm no professional. I'm just telling you how we made it work for us. This might be the complete opposite of how you are supposed to correctly lay tile, but no one lost a finger or eye, so we worked out OK.
Step 1: Go to your local do-it-yourself store and get the right materials. The people at our Lowe's were really helpful. They showed us the best materials to get, why we needed certain things over others, and were generally helpful all around. Well...except for the man who totally was laughing under his breath when we told him what we were about to do. I wish I could take him that picture and just say, "Ha! Told Ya So!"...but I won't....back to the fireplace at hand.
Ugh! Even with my decorations, there is no hope for this thing.
Step 2: You have to remove the ugly pink tile. The best thing we found to do was smash the tiles on the wall with a hammer. We bought one of those fancy schmancy 'L' bar thingamajigs. It didn't do nearly the damage that a good ole' bang with a hammer did. For the tiles on the ground, that are on the cement, we found the best thing to do was cover them with a sheet and beat the crud out of them with a sledge hammer. Seemed to do the trick! Remember your protective eye cover, those broken tiles can be sharp!